These fascinating countries of South East Asia have many common threads running through them.
The hotels we use are of good standard, the food is superb and the people friendly and welcoming.
The saffron of the Buddist monks, gorgeous silks and flowers, motor scooters, charming people, a recent history of war, heat and humidity and a determination to move forward.
The Kingdom of Cambodia, more than UNESCO Heritage Angkor Wat and Tonle Sap Lake, offers an array of sleepy towns, faded colonial architecture, memorable landscapes, a chequered history and friendly people.
Vietnam - rich in history, a diverse culture, World Heritage sites, natural scenery and charming innocence, plus frenetic Ho Chi Minh City, enchanting Hoi An, colonial Hanoi, UNESCO Halong Bay and Sapa in the highlands.
Our 18th tour to the region - a popular, tried and true itinerary.
Depart Auckland on Singapore Airlines with a late evening arrival in Singapore. Overnight at the Airport Hotel.
A morning flight to Siem Reap. After settling into the hotel and lunch at a local restaurant, we take a boat trip on Tonle Sap Lake (Asia’s largest inland lake) to see the way of life of the lake-dwelling people - an unexpected highlight. Welcome Dinner tonight.
A special sunrise tour of Angkor Wat, the UNESCO site built in the 12th century and last capital of the Khmer Empire. Return to the hotel for breakfast and later to the complex that looks much the same as it would have done when the French explorers came here 140 years ago – shrouded in undergrowth with huge roots of old Banyan tress growing over and down the ruins. The Southern Gate is guarded by giant carvings of gods and demons all preserved in time. Sunset paints the temple in an orange light.
After breakfast travel by coach through the countryside and villages to Phnom Penh. On arrival, settle into hotel for a two-night stay. Balance of day free.
Morning visit to the sobering Genocide Museum and onto the ‘Killing Fields.’ En-route stop at the bustling market of Toul Tumpong – also known as the Russian Market.
After breakfast ride by rickshaw to Koh Dach Island (Home of Silk). Here the village women weave delicate silks by hand, while just down the orchard lane, monks wearing brilliant saffron-coloured robes collect morning alms. After lunch, we take the hydrofoil to Chau Doc in Vietnam. On arrival, transfer to our overnight hotel.
Today visit Thoai Ngoc Hau Confession and continue to Nui Sam Mountain. The easy climb to the summit is worth the effort because the views of the pancake-flat Mekong and the plain across the Cambodian border are striking. Continue by coach to Can Tho to arrive late afternoon.
This morning take a boat trip to visit the famous Cai Rang floating market, the biggest floating market in the Mekong Delta. We stop to explore a rice husking mill before heading back to the hotel. Continue to Ho Chi Minh City with lunch en-route.
A morning drive out of the city to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, a vast network where people lived and fought during the Vietnam War. After lunch at a river restaurant, return to the Ho Chi Minh City for a tour including the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Old Post Office.
Option: Saigon after dark by Vespa D
This popular Vespa tour with a driver, includes big streets and back streets with many stops for snacks, drinks at street restaurants and a visit to a coffee shop to experience live Vietnamese music and more. Dinner included (approx. NZD$180 pp).
Free time to visit the famous Ben Thanh Market before our noon flight to Danang and after a brief local tour, drive to Hoi An via the Marble Mountains. Hoi An retains the feeling of centuries past and is a real gem. The ‘old town’ is a pedestrian and bike-only zone with a maze of shops and tailors. Our hotel is located on the edge of this very special area. An opportunity to order tailor-made clothes.
Option: Cooking Class L
This morning, an option to join the Cooking Class (Cost NZD70) at a local restaurant, visiting a local food market along the way for ingredients. Journey to the restaurant by boat. Lunch as you cook it.
For those not attending the cooking class, the morning is free with lunch at own expense. After lunch, an included a guided walking tour through the narrow winding streets of the Old Quarter and the fruit, vegetable and fish markets. Remainder of the day free.
Another early start as we head off on our Farming and Fishing Life Eco Tour. Get a personal insight into local farming communities and their methods, before a leisurely cycle tour and a river cruise.
Lunch on board using vegetables picked earlier at Tra Que Village. After lunch free time to wander around Hoi An and possibly collect your new tailored clothes.
Morning travel by coach along the coastal road to Hue known as the Imperial city and a former Vietnamese capital. Tour the walled citadel where former dynasties ruled and the most unique Garden House in Hue.
Enjoy a special cuisine dinner at a garden house.
After breakfast, board a dragon boat for a cruise along the famous Perfume River to the countryside.
Later transfer to the airport for a flight to the French colonial city of Hanoi for a two night stay.
Our city tour includes the Ho Chi Minh complex, the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, his former stilt-house, the Presidential Palace and the One Pillar Pagoda. After lunch, visit the Museum of Ethnology and the infamous Hoa Loa Prison Museum also known as the ‘Hanoi Hilton.’ Later enjoy a one hour cyclo tour of the French inspired ‘Old Quarter.’ Time for shopping in the Old Quarter, including markets, designer boutiques and contemporary art galleries or relaxing at the hotel. Following dinner in a local restaurant, enjoy a performance of the city’s famous Water Puppets. Several other show options are available.
This morning drive to the ‘Jewel in the Crown of Vietnam’ – Halong Bay.
Board your boat and set sail while lunch is served. Cruise among thousands of limestone Karst formations and understand why this area is now one of the ‘New Seven Wonders of Nature.’ Enjoy time on one of the islands, visiting the famous Bõ Nãu caves and a cooking demonstration before a wonderful seafood dinner and entertainment.
Enjoy breakfast on board and the morning cruise before the drive back to Hanoi. Hanoi’s history dates back a thousand years, but the French European influence is clearly seen in the elegant colonial buildings and tree-lined boulevards which contrast with the Old Quarter – a bustling area of narrow streets and home to thousands of small businesses. Free time before dinner.
A day in the countryside exploring at leisure, two traditional villages around Hanoi featuring workshops, paintings and music.
Return to the city for lunch with the rest of the afternoon free before freshening up for dinner, before the boarding the overnight ‘Fansipan’ train at 8.30pm. Tonight’s journey is in a comfortable sleeper train with two people per four berth cabin.
Arrive early at Lao Cai Station, only three kms from the Chinese border. Continue by coach to our Sapa hotel for breakfast and a two night stay. After breakfast visit Cat Cat village and continue through rice paddy terraced fields and areas of rain forest to the Y Linh Ho village inhabited by Black Hmong people. Return to Sapa early afternoon with free time before dinner.
This morning a short drive toward Muong Hoa valley. Observe and experience how the locals do rice planting and harvesting, one of the most important activities in their daily lives. We then take a short walk from Lao Chai village of the Black Hmong minority to Ta Van village of Giay minority. Afternoon free before dinner.
This morning free time to wander around the town and Sapa’s market. After lunch, travel by express coach back to Hanoi. Arrive late evening to our overnight hotel.
Morning at leisure before transferring to the airport for a noon flight to Singapore.
Change planes and continue on to Auckland.
Arrive Auckland early morning for Economy and Business passengers or midday for Premium Economy passengers.
*Ask us about a stopover in Singapore
|Cost Per Person * |
Auckland - Auckland
LAND ONLY COST Deduct
(Arrive Siem Reap – depart Hanoi)
|Business Class Upgrade||+$4,479|
Premium Economy Class Upgrade (Singapore Airlines Only)
(Different flight Singapore – Auckland)
|Early Booking Discount ( 01/12/2018 )||$150|
|Previous International Pukekohe Travel Tour Discount||$100|
*This is a cash or cheque price. Credit cards will incur a 2% fee
*Itinerary and costs subject to change, airline and fuel charges and currency fluctuations prior to final payment
Travel Insurance is essential. Please feel free to contact us for a quote.
Climate / Temperatures
May / June in Indo China is summertime and it will be hot most of the time – max 35°c in Hanoi. We have planned rest time from the heat.
The hotels, coaches and the trains are air-conditioned.
Lightweight, comfortable clothes are the order of the day – the laundry service in the hotels is inexpensive and efficient. Hats, sunglasses and comfortable sandals are a must. A scarf or pareu is handy for temples etc or for sun protection.
A small umbrella is great for rain showers or sunshade.
Bottled water is available for purchase at all times.
Fruit and vegetables are plentiful. Due to the colonial influence, bread is of very good quality. Meals are reasonably priced, the cost of Western style food is more expensive, but still reasonable. Beer is the best alcohol option, local and international brands are available – wine and spirits are relatively expensive.
Currency / Money
Vietnam - the Dong
Cambodia – Riel (Tourists only use USD)
These currencies are not available outside the three countries. US Dollar cash is widely used and the currency to travel with. ATM’s in Cambodia dispense USD
A budget of NZD50 per person per day will adequately cover extra meals, incidentals and tipping.
The scope is huge: silk, linen, lacquer-ware, tailor made clothes, children’s clothes, shoes to name a few. Remember to leave home with no more than 12 to 15 kg of luggage!!
Hawkers are everywhere, follow the guide’s advice and be prepared to bargain or ignore.
Photographic opportunities are plentiful – respect the local people and ask before taking photos.
A good standard of health and fitness is required, along with the ability to walk unaided on uneven, fairly steep surfaces is essential.
Note: Pukekohe Travel reserves the right to correct errors and omissions on our website without recourse.
* Itinerary subject to change